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Alumni Spotlight

Alumna studies conservation biology in Indonesia

July 18

Ella Berger, a CDS 2011 graduate, recently spent a month in Indonesia with the College of Charleston, where she is a rising senior in the Honors College pursuing a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry.

Under the guidance of Dr. Phil Dustan, the parent of a CDS alumnus, she studied tropical ecology and conservation biology, focusing primarily on the biology of coral reef bleaching and rain forest ecology, as well as implementing conservation efforts in the developing world.

“Growing up surrounded by veterinary medicine, I developed a keen interest in science at a very young age,” said Berger, whose father, Dr. Doug Berger, owns All Creatures Veterinary Clinic on Calhoun Street.

By encouraging academic curiosity and excellence, Charleston Day School gave me the proper mindset and tool kit to pursue my interests.

On the trip, she observed many wild animals in their natural habitats, including monkeys, deer, monitor lizards, and a variety of tropical birds and fishes.

“My experience in Indonesia witnessing different exotic animals in their natural habitats, as well as a large number of sick dogs roaming the streets, confirmed my desire to pursue a career in veterinary medicine,” she said. She currently studies veterinary medicine under her father at All Creatures and intends to apply to veterinary schools this fall.

“In addition to my future plan to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, I hope to eventually return to Indonesia to care for the local animal population by performing routine veterinary care, education, and disease prevention.”

We love hearing about the adventures and accomplishments of our alumni. To share yours, please Submit a Class Note by July 31 to be included in the Fall issue of The Gateway.

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